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FDA Chief Says More Egg Recalls Possible
Date:8/23/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- There may be more recalls of eggs potentially tainted by salmonella, the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

"We may see some additional sort of sub-recalls over the next couple of days, maybe even weeks, as we better understand the network of distribution of these eggs that are contaminated," agency director Margaret Hamburg told NBC's Today show.

She also believes that new laws are needed to expand the agency's enforcement from a mostly reactive stance on food safety to a more "preventive approach."

Appearing on the network morning news programs, Hamburg said the FDA is taking the salmonella outbreak "very, very seriously." But, she added, Congress should pass pending legislation that would give her agency greater enforcement power, including new authority over imported food, the Associated Press reported.

"We need better abilities and authorities to put in place these preventive controls and hold companies accountable," Hamburg said.

She also offered some practical advice for consumers, urging them to avoid runny, over-easy "egg yolks for mopping up with toast."

On Saturday, it was reported that the two Iowa farms linked to the disease outbreak -- Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms -- share suppliers of chickens and chicken feed. Jewanna Porter, a spokeswoman for the egg industry, said the company Quality Egg supplies young chickens and feed to both Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The two share other suppliers, she said, but she did not name them, the AP reported.

The egg industry has consolidated in recent years, meaning there are fewer, bigger businesses controlling much of the nation's egg supply. Further complicating matters, the salmonella outbreak has focused attention on a potential difficulty with federal inspection of egg farms. The FDA oversees in
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